Book Review: The Day I Lost You by Fionnuala Kearney

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ABOUT THE BOOK

THE DAY I LOST YOU WAS THE DAY I DISCOVERED I NEVER REALLY KNEW YOU

When Jess’s daughter, Anna, is reported lost in an avalanche, everything changes.

Jess’s first instinct is to protect Rose, Anna’s five-year-old daughter. But then she starts to uncover Anna’s other life – unearthing a secret that alters their whole world irrevocably . . .

THE DAY I LOST YOU WAS THE DAY YOU TORE OUR FAMILY APART

MY THOUGHTS ON THE BOOK

The Day I Lost You is a magnificent read that is totally addictive and mesmerising. I had heard so many brilliant things about the author’s debut novel and was very excited to read one of her books.

I felt for Jess from the first pages onwards. Hearing that dreaded news that your daughter is missing, really must be the worst feeling in the world. Not only does Jess has to come to terms with the loss, but at the same time she has Rose, Anna’s five-year-old-daughter to think of and to protect.

The author’s writing is incredible and it is so easy to get completely absorbed into the storyline. I thought the idea of letting the reader in on Anna’s life by letting us read her blog entry posts is fantastic and very cleverly thought through.

This book explores and examines a mother/daughter relationship and uncovers secrets that make the reader hold their breath. The Day I Lost You is a book I can highly recommend.

Thank you to Jaime at Harper Collins for sending me a copy of this book to review.

Book Review: Christmas at the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson (Talk of the Town #33)

Welcome back to #TalkoftheTown, a weekly link-up I am co-hosting with Shaz from Jera’s Jamboree. We’d love you to share your book related blog posts with us. Please visit my Talk of the Town page if you are unsure of how a link-up works. We are looking forward to reading your blog posts.

I love Christmas and it is definitely the holiday I look forward to most each year. Next to decorating the house, doing lots of baking and generally enjoying time with my loved ones, I am also super excited about new Christmas book releases. It has become a little tradition for me, to read as many festive books as I possibly can in the run-up to Christmas. Debbie Johnson’s Christmas at the Comfort Food Cafe was my first Christmas read for 2016.

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ABOUT THE BOOK

Becca Fletcher hates Christmas so much, she’s considering getting ‘Bah Humbug!’ tattooed on her forehead. She has her reasons for being Little Miss Grinch; Reasons that make this the very worst time of year for her.

Now, though, she can’t avoid her version of ho-ho-hell – because she’s travelling to the Comfort Food Cafe to spend the festive season with her sister Laura, and her family. She’s expecting mulled wine, the smell of pine trees, 24-hour Christmas movie marathons and all kinds of very merry torture.

But little does Becca know that the Comfort Food Cafe is like no other place on earth. Perched on a snow-covered hill on a windswept bay, it’s a place full of friendship; a place where broken hearts can heal, and a place where new love can blossom. It’s a place where Becca’s Christmas miracle really could happen – if only she can let it…

MY THOUGHTS ON THE  BOOK

Christmas at the Comfort Food Cafe is a truly enjoyable and addictive read. It is not the first time that the Comfort Food Cafe features in Debbie’s books. The reader was first transported to this wonderful Cafe in the author’s previous release, Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe. I personally love re-visiting characters and places from books I’ve read before and always find it extremely interesting how their story continued. However, Christmas at the Comfort Food Cafe can be read as a stand-alone as this time around, the author focuses on Becca ,who is the sister of Laura (the heroine in the previous book). 

To be honest, during the first few chapters, I wasn’t sure whether I could take a liking to Becca. In these first chapters we get to know Becca as a child and teenager and I found her rather annoying, spoilt and ungrateful. We know that something happened to her in her later teenage years that makes her hate Christmas, but we don’t find out until much later on what that actually was.

However, as soon as the book switches to the present and Becca arrives at the Comfort Food Cafe, my opinion of her changed. I really loved the sisterly bond between Laura and Becca (a bond that is very similar to my own sister and I) and it showed that Becca isn’t as heartless and selfish as I originally thought. She definitely has a good heart, but put up a wall in order to protect herself. 

The storyline unfolds nicely and there are plenty of heart-warming and moving moments packed into this festive novella. I definitely wouldn’t mind a third book set at the Comfort Food Cafe. I just cannot get enough from these lovely and welcoming characters. 

Thank you to HarperImpulse for allowing me to read an ARC of this book via NetGalley.

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My Captured Moment #41 – Starting School

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The BIG DAY has come and gone. A day our (not so) little girl was looking forward to so much and a day that I was dreading if I am brutally honest. Quite often I would wonder where the time has gone. How is it that it feels like only yesterday I was giving birth to our gorgeous girl, when in fact it is already more than 4 years ago? Of course, I am so happy that her little bubbly personality now really shines through and she is ready to embark on this totally new adventure – big school! The day itself was actually a lot better than I anticipated. The dreadful weather was probably one of the main factors for this. My husband was able to take the day off work so that we could take our daughter to school together. It was literally raining cats and dogs – I kid you not, I was soaked through to my underwear by the time we got back home. As soon as we arrived at the school gates, the teachers whisked the children off into their allocated classrooms and we barely had the chance to say our goodbyes. Which in actual fact was brilliant as it didn’t leave any time for tears. And the tears would have flown – definitely on my pregnant hormonal part (I would have had a pretty good excuse though I think :-)).

And here we are – one week of school is pretty much over and done with and we are settling into a routine. Our daughter loves big school, has already made new friends, is always happy when she comes out of her classroom at the end of the day and is super excited to go again the following day. She would go to nursery 3 times a week and the other 2 weekdays we would have together. Yes, I miss our “mummy/daughter days”, but I couldn’t be any prouder of our gorgeous girl!!

 I am linking this #MyCapturedMoment with Heledd at Running in Lavender.

 

Book Review: Starlight Wishes by Anne Marie Ryan and James Newman Gray (Talk of the Town #32)

Welcome back to #TalkoftheTown, a weekly link-up I am co-hosting with Shaz from Jera’s Jamboree. We’d love you to share your book related blog posts with us. Please visit my Talk of the Town page if you are unsure of how a link-up works. We are looking forward to reading your blog posts.

For this week’s Talk of the Town, I am sharing a review for probably one of the cutest books we’ve ever bought for our little girl. I know that this blog has featured children’s books quite heavily lately, but life has been so busy that I literally had no time to pick up a book for myself. We do, however, make sure that we read a bedtime story for our little girl every single night 🙂

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I have to admit that I sometimes tire of reading the same books over and over again to our daughter, but this one is a complete exception. I love reading this book as much as she likes listening to the story. Starlight Wishes is all about two little bears that instead of going straight to bed in the evenings, like to imagine different adventures they can go on – from riding a rollercoaster (which our little one is a huge fan of, by the way – our little adrenaline junkie definitely hasn’t inherited this trait from me!) to visiting a land where all their favourite princesses live, to flying on a back of a dragon – these two teddy bears definitely don’t lack any imagination.

The illustrations in this book are truly gorgeous which I find to be vital for a good book for young children. Starlight Wishes is the perfect bedtime story and is a book that has taken a very special place on our daughter’s bookshelf.

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Talk of the Town #31 – Our little girl’s current most favourite bedtime reads

Welcome back to #TalkoftheTown, a weekly link-up I am co-hosting with Shaz from Jera’s Jamboree. We’d love you to share your book related blog posts with us. Please visit my Talk of the Town page if you are unsure of how a link-up works. We are looking forward to reading your blog posts.

I am so lucky that our little girl is as much in love with books as I am. At every parent evening in nursery, the teachers would tell us that she likes storytime the most and will always sit quietly and listen expectantly. There is not one night she will go to bed without having been read a bedtime story first. For this week’s Talk of the Town, I am sharing our little girl’s current most favourite bedtime reads.
 
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Frozen
She is still absolutely obsessed with Anna and Elsa and I don’t think that this will change anytime soon. We have a lot (and I seriously mean a lot) of Frozen related items at home – from dolls to costumes to towels to slippers… When we went to Disneyland earlier on the year, it was definitely a highlight for her to see Anna and Elsa in the parade. I will never forget her little face when both characters waved to her.
 
Sofia the First
Funnily enough, our little one doesn’t like watching the Sofia the First TV programme, but she loves the books. We’ve got quite a few books in the series and she enjoys them all. She really loves princesses at the moment and we know that everything princess related will be a hit with her.
 
Little Miss Helpful
My husband already was a Mr Men fan when he was little and he is so pleased that his daughter shares this passion. We love the illustrations in these books and the humourous bits are not lost on our little girl. Little Miss Helpful is a brilliant book. This character has the best intention to be helpful when in actual fact, the help she offers is not necessarily that helpful.
 
Katie Morag and the Wedding
This book is quite a recent addition to our little one’s book collection. Now Katie Morag is actually a programme our daughter enjoys watching on Cbeebies and when she saw this book in a shop the other day, she really wanted it. I am not too keen on the illustrations in this book, but our little girl loves it. I think she is most drawn to the fact, that she already knows all the characters from TV.
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Talk of the Town #30 – Book Review: Little Mouse by Riikka Jantti

Welcome back to #TalkoftheTown, a weekly link-up I am co-hosting with Shaz from Jera’s Jamboree. We’d love you to share your book related blog posts with us. Please visit my Talk of the Town page if you are unsure of how a link-up works. We are looking forward to reading your blog posts.

 

For this week’s Talk of the Town, I am sharing my thoughts on the children’s book Little Mouse.
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A few weeks ago, I wrote about how much our little girl loves her cuddly mouse toy. This mouse literally goes everywhere with her – to nursery, shopping, on holiday and the likes. We do have quite a few Mickey and Minnie Mouse books that she loves being read for bedtime, but we never owned any non-Disney related books where the main character is a mouse. I was recently approached by the publishers Scribble asking whether we would like to review Little Mouse. Given our daughter’s “mouse obsession”, we jumped at the chance.
 
Little Mouse is such an endearing children’s book that we must have read at least 20 times by now. It is all about how a toddler mouse experiences a typical day. From his mummy dressing him, taking him to nursery, doing the shopping and finally his bedtime routine. Now Little Mouse isn’t always the best behaved little one (arguably not the wisest book to read before bedtime, as Little Mouse refuses to do many things asked of him with multiple uses of “No”) and tests his mother’s nerves a few times throughout the book (I suppose this is something, all of us mummy’s and daddy’s can easily relate to). The illustrations in this book are super cute and there is not too much written text in this book either. Our daughter often asks for it to be read to her again immediately after finishing it! She has already completely memorised this whole book by heart and  now “reads” it on her own.

 

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Talk of the Town (weekly link-up)

Welcome back to Talk of the Town, a weekly link-up I am co-hosting together with Shaz from Jera’s Jamboree.

What is Talk of the Town?

  • A place for bloggers and authors to link up their bookish posts.

What post can you link up?

  • It does have to be book related but doesn’t have to be a review – it can be anything you would like to share with others. It could be a Q&A, guest post, book news, book event, blogging tips, giveaway, top 5 books you’ve read, your weekly/monthly roundup or even something you’ve made from instructions within the pages of a book! As long as it is book related, go for it. The post you choose can be something you’re really proud of, has a message that you think others will benefit from or a book you think deserves to be noticed. Your post doesn’t have to be recent either. It can be from your archives. And you DON’T have to join in every week.
  • Authors, you blog too! and if you would like to join in you’re very welcome. I would request that you don’t use the linky as only promotion though. Links to your books that you have in your posts are fine. I’m thinking here of the fabulous posts I read on writing tips or your inspiration etc and I know some of you join in round robins where you have a question to answer.

There is no cost for you to link up with #TalkoftheTown.

Don’t know how a linky works?  Follow Shaz’s walkthrough – it’s easier than you think!

The link is open now until Tuesday evening.

Please feel free to add the badge to the post you’re sharing.

 If you would like me to RT your post tweet the link to @cosmochicklitan or @shazjera and add #TalkoftheTown.
 

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I am looking forward to reading the posts you are linking up. Thank you for supporting #TalkoftheTown.

Exciting news: We have a sponsor! Talk of the Town is now sponsored by National Pen.
National Pen
Do check out their website for a fantastic range of personalised pens, key chains, note pads, magnets, calendars, mugs, shopping bags and more that can be imprinted with logos, graphics and messages.
Each month, a post will be chosen and the blogger/author will receive a Paragon Pen incribed with Talk of the Town (colours vary).
Paragon Pen
 

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My Captured Moment #40 – Riding a Pony

We love being out and about at weekends to explore and discover new places and also visit ones that we enjoy going to over and over again. A few weekends ago we went to a gorgeous farm not too far away from us. We’ve been there several times before, but it never gets boring and we know we are guaranteed a lovely day out. There is so much to do there for our little girl. Not only can she feed and pet most of the animals, but there is also a huge playground.

We knew for a while that the farm also offers pony rides for little ones, but each time we went, our daughter looked at the ponies, but wouldn’t get close to them. I was extremely surprised when she asked us if she could have a go riding a pony. It makes me so incredibly proud to see her little personality develop. She can be quite a shy girl – especially in new surroundings. She loved the pony and now really wants one of her own (however, I think we better stick to our cat – one pet is definitely enough for now :-)).

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 I am linking this #MyCapturedMoment with Heledd at Running in Lavender.

Talk of the Town (weekly link-up)

Welcome back to Talk of the Town, a weekly link-up I am co-hosting together with Shaz from Jera’s Jamboree.

What is Talk of the Town?

  • A place for bloggers and authors to link up their bookish posts.

What post can you link up?

  • It does have to be book related but doesn’t have to be a review – it can be anything you would like to share with others. It could be a Q&A, guest post, book news, book event, blogging tips, giveaway, top 5 books you’ve read, your weekly/monthly roundup or even something you’ve made from instructions within the pages of a book! As long as it is book related, go for it. The post you choose can be something you’re really proud of, has a message that you think others will benefit from or a book you think deserves to be noticed. Your post doesn’t have to be recent either. It can be from your archives. And you DON’T have to join in every week.
  • Authors, you blog too! and if you would like to join in you’re very welcome. I would request that you don’t use the linky as only promotion though. Links to your books that you have in your posts are fine. I’m thinking here of the fabulous posts I read on writing tips or your inspiration etc and I know some of you join in round robins where you have a question to answer.

There is no cost for you to link up with #TalkoftheTown.

Don’t know how a linky works?  Follow Shaz’s walkthrough – it’s easier than you think!

The link is open now until Tuesday evening.

Please feel free to add the badge to the post you’re sharing.

 If you would like me to RT your post tweet the link to @cosmochicklitan or @shazjera and add #TalkoftheTown.
 

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I am looking forward to reading the posts you are linking up. Thank you for supporting #TalkoftheTown.

Exciting news: We have a sponsor! Talk of the Town is now sponsored by National Pen.
National Pen
Do check out their website for a fantastic range of personalised pens, key chains, note pads, magnets, calendars, mugs, shopping bags and more that can be imprinted with logos, graphics and messages.
Each month, a post will be chosen and the blogger/author will receive a Paragon Pen incribed with Talk of the Town (colours vary).
Paragon Pen
 

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Talk of the Town (weekly link-up) sponsored by National Pen

Welcome back to Talk of the Town, a weekly link-up I am co-hosting together with Shaz from Jera’s Jamboree.

What is Talk of the Town?

  • A place for bloggers and authors to link up their bookish posts.

What post can you link up?

  • It does have to be book related but doesn’t have to be a review – it can be anything you would like to share with others. It could be a Q&A, guest post, book news, book event, blogging tips, giveaway, top 5 books you’ve read, your weekly/monthly roundup or even something you’ve made from instructions within the pages of a book! As long as it is book related, go for it. The post you choose can be something you’re really proud of, has a message that you think others will benefit from or a book you think deserves to be noticed. Your post doesn’t have to be recent either. It can be from your archives. And you DON’T have to join in every week.
  • Authors, you blog too! and if you would like to join in you’re very welcome. I would request that you don’t use the linky as only promotion though. Links to your books that you have in your posts are fine. I’m thinking here of the fabulous posts I read on writing tips or your inspiration etc and I know some of you join in round robins where you have a question to answer.

There is no cost for you to link up with #TalkoftheTown.

Don’t know how a linky works?  Follow Shaz’s walkthrough – it’s easier than you think!

The link is open now until Tuesday evening.

Please feel free to add the badge to the post you’re sharing.

 If you would like me to RT your post tweet the link to @cosmochicklitan or @shazjera and add #TalkoftheTown.
 

IMG-20160205-WA0003

I am looking forward to reading the posts you are linking up. Thank you for supporting #TalkoftheTown.

Exciting news: We have a sponsor! Talk of the Town is now sponsored by National Pen.
National Pen
Do check out their website for a fantastic range of personalised pens, key chains, note pads, magnets, calendars, mugs, shopping bags and more that can be imprinted with logos, graphics and messages.
Each month, a post will be chosen and the blogger/author will receive a Paragon Pen incribed with Talk of the Town (colours vary).
Paragon Pen
 

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